A guest post from one of TDS recruiters—
Writing a resume can be difficult—how do you sum up your career in just a few bullet points and sentences? If you factor in the shocking statistic from GlassDoor and LinkedIn that a recruiter or hiring manger spends an average of only six seconds reading a resume, then you really may start to panic!
Writing a resume is more of an art form than a science and, depending on your industry and your career choice, it can be hard to make yourself stand out from the stack of resumes a recruiter and hiring manager receive. Some applicants get exceptionally creative in an effort to try and make it to the top of the pile—often times to their detriment.
As a TDS recruiter, I’ve seen it all and have compiled a list of the Top 5 things NOT to include on your resume so you don’t stand out for the wrong reasons!
- A picture. Unless you are applying to be a model in a runway show, your picture isn’t going to help a hiring manager or recruiter determine if you are qualified for the role. In fact, often times including your picture can make the goal of having a bias-free recruitment process more challenging. A better option: Include a link to your LinkedIn Profile which should incorporate a professional photo of yourself.
- Multiple fonts/colors. You might think using multiple colors and fonts will help you highlight areas of your resume but, in reality, it makes it very difficult to read. Also, in a world where almost all companies are using an automated Applicant Tracking System (ATS) sometimes special fonts do not upload correctly causing your resume to be unreadable. A better option: Stick to one standard font (i.e. Arial, Times New Roman, Verdana, and Calibri) and use italics and bold to help highlight things in your resume as needed, but sparingly and with purpose.
- Multiple columns/difficult formatting. Putting your resume into various sections is logical. However, when you start adding several columns and sections, a recruiter or hiring manager doesn’t know where to look. In addition to font challenges, formatting is another area that can load into an ATS very differently than you intended causing more problems than the effort was worth. A better option: use a large font and italics/bold to note sections in your resume and make it easy to read. Simple is better.
- Cover Letter. Cover letters can be difficult to write because they ask a lot of you. You’re trying to take your entire resume, put it into a narrative, and sell yourself at the same time (after you just spent time customizing your resume to fit the dream job you’re applying for). A better option: Instead of taking the time to write a cover letter, write a strong 3-5 sentence objective/summary at the top of your resume. It can include a summary of your skills and/or what type of role/career you want.
- Personal Information. Avid mountain biker? Bookworm? Semi-professional at-home chef? Great! Having hobbies and interests outside of work is awesome and highly encouraged! However, avoid including that information on your resume. Recruiters and hiring managers will get to know you as a person during the interview process but let your resume focus on your skills/abilities for the job. It’s very important to NOT include personal identifying information like your Social Security Number or birth date. A better option: please make sure provide the best number to reach you and your email.
Now that you have your resume all ready, I hope you’ll be applying for a job here at TDS! Visit our Careers page to get started and find an opportunity near you.
Guest Blogger: Ashley Curless
When did the cover letter go out of style? I was most surprised to see that mentioned.